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Brave nine-year-old Wisconsin girl saves her classmate from choking by using the Heimlich manoeuvre

When Essence Collier spotted a girl in her class at Fratt Elementary in Racine holding her neck, she sprung into action and and knew exactly what to do
Essence Collier from Fratt Elementary school saved her classmate's life by performing the Heimlich's manoeuvre (TMJ4 News)
Essence Collier from Fratt Elementary school saved her classmate's life by performing the Heimlich's manoeuvre (TMJ4 News)

RACINE, WISCONSIN: A young girl from Wisconsin is making headlines for her timely act of bravery. Essence Collier, 9, from Fratt Elementary school in Racine, saved her classmate as she was choking on a Cheeto. According to WISN, when Collier noticed the girl holding her neck, she knew exactly what she had to do. 

The substitute teacher that day, Samantha Bradshaw, witnessed Collier run across the classroom to assist her classmate. “Out of nowhere, I see Essence get up, and kind of dart across the classroom. I didn’t know what was going on. I kind of said, stop,” Bradshaw told WSB-TV. When WISN News questioned the girl about how she knew what to do in that situation, Collier replied that she had watched a video instructing kids on how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre two years ago, when she was seven, and the lesson stuck with her.


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"I saw this one video and it said how to help someone when they're choking," Collier reportedly said, adding, "Oh yeah, I remember how to do that. I just wanted to help her out." The classmate's airway cleared in seconds and a tragedy was averted by the brave nine-year-old.

Bradshaw said that she was very surprised to see a fourth grader react that way. "I called Essence a hero, but she said no I'm just a student," Bradshaw said. "I really didn't think much of it. I'm just happy that she's still alive," Collier said. This little child, who is brave and modest, only has one request. "I really want kids to learn this (how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre)," Collier said.

Normally, Collier and her classmates wouldn't be in their classroom at that time. They would have been in the lunchroom down the hall. Collier just happened to be in the right place at just the right time on Election Day, since the cafeteria was being used for polling. Collier will be recognized for her bravery at a board meeting in late November by the Racine Unified School Board.